Chloe Moss, 22, is a fashion blogger and freelance writer who graduated with an English Literature degree from King’s College London in July. In her seventh ‘Funemployed’ column, she muses on the merits of a themed bar…
You may have noticed over the last few weeks of reading this column that the focus is more on the fun and less on the employed element of the title. Yes. That is true. But that is because I am a freelancer who works from home and most days, if I’m honest, doesn’t wear a bra. So there’s the employment summed up in a line. Hence why we focus on the fun part. You might also think to yourselves, my god this girl likes a drink. Yes. That is also true. Now, this week is no different. I thought I’d take this time to reflect on a drinking experience that I had last weekend that has profoundly changed me and will shape my view of bars for years to come.
On the weekend I stumbled across a bar in a town in the Czech Republic of Brno that goes by the name of Pablo Escobar (underlining their own). That the bar shares the name of infamous drugs baron Pablo Escobar is not small coincidence, but actually a calculating move from its owners, because this bar was themed on the life and times of Pablo Escobar. If you aren’t familiar with Escobar, either through history or, as I encountered him, through the series of Entourage where Vince played Escobar in the ill-fated movie Medellin, then this won’t mean much to you. But if you do know of him, then the hilarity of how bizarre a theme this is will hopefully be fulfilling and will produce great big belly-laughs all round.
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The bar took on the vibe of a classic Medellin bar of Pablo’s heyday and had the tagline “I built own prison. Now I have own bar”, an obvious reference to, yes, you’ve guessed it, Pablo building his own prison. Little drawings of Escobar illustrate all the menus, napkins, even those tiny flag things they stick in your burger, and if I’m not mistaken, they had Escobar football jerseys. It gets better, because not only did Pablo have a menu of “Escobeers”, but he also had his own cocktail. A delightfully refreshing fruit punch kind of drink, with a lot of fruity crap sticking out of it. I like to think Pablo would have approved.
My point with this, and I know you’re probably wondering why you’ve invested in the above words, is that I think I have hit the holy grail of bars. I mean seriously. If there’s one thing I like, it’s a themed dining/drinking experience, this being, in my opinion, the only time when a theme is acceptable. So this bar is themed, and not just themed, but themed on a notorious drugs baron. Better yet, when you go on the ‘About’ section of their website, they don’t even acknowledge the theme. They just talk about ingredients. It’s like this is a totally normal concept for an immersive dining experience. And yet, they underline the ‘bar’ part of the name like they know what they’re doing, giving me a sly wink as though I’m in on their secret. Maybe I am. Maybe it’s like you have to know the bar exists to know the bar exists. Like those cars that open when you just have the key in your pocket. Just like that.
For the last few years I have harboured a non-ironic obsession with going to the Rainforest Cafe. There’s no particular reason why, I just want to go. They have a shop, they have fake animals, it sounds solid. But now that dream has gone, because I have found my bar destiny. It should be a franchise. They need branches in London – it could be the new Frankie and Benny’s, the new TGI Friday’s. I do not want to go anywhere else that does not harbour the same commitment to the most random theme in existence. If I’m perfectly honest, I’m done now. I’ve peaked. This is a great start to another year of my life because it shows the promise of so much.